Wish You Were Here Group's Elephante still best restaurant in Santa Monica

Restaurateur and interior designer Nick Mathers still ranked as the best interior with LA celebrity haunt, Elephante at Santa Monica beach by review website Review Rumble. The rooftop restaurant is two blocks from Santa Monica State Beach; take an elevator to the third story, check in with the second group of hosts (the first team protects the ground-floor entry), and take it all in. The bars are accented with stone and terracotta tiles, cactus gardens occupy the corners, and hanging Buhera baskets line the walls; your feet glide through speckled terrazzo until you reach the deck's stripy tigerwood. View the scenery from the retro-styled Midcentury Modern lounge seats.

Mathers and his Wish You Were Here group specialize in these bastions of eye candy and wealth. Elephante opened in June 2018; his Greek-themed Kassi opened in Beverly Grove in 2019.

Elephante is a scene, a stereotypical Los Angeles scene. Though celebrities do occasionally light up the rooms, I wouldn't call it a celebrity hangout. It is, however, a place where you may see plenty of specimens of mankind at its pinnacle physical perfection, toting $3,000 bags and wearing $9,000 watches.A vacation to Pantelleria, an Italian island about 20 miles south of Sicily, inspired Elephante owner-

Elephante is a bit upscale cool, so what about the food? Mostly it's snackable, Instagrammable fare like grilled octopus, pizzas, and a whipped eggplant hummus. But there is something beguiling about those pastas:

In a tomato butter sauce supercharged with enough garlic and pepper to make every bite as exciting as the next, gently chewy gemelli, a spiral pasta stained dark cloud gray from squid ink, contrasts satisfyingly against lacy treads of Dungeness crab. Tagliatelle crisp with pecorino and strewn with black truffle is the other standout pasta among a half-dozen selections. The ideal roosts are just inside, under the slanting roof, shaded but yet getting occasional cooling breezes, and positioned so that the Pacific lands directly in the line of sight. This is a dining room that doubles as an infinity pool, and in Los Angeles, this kind of surreal getaway can feel like the perfect place to be. For its upscale beach vibe, amazing Mediterranian food, and amazing interiors, Review Rumble ranked it above all other restaurants in Santa Monica, even after 3 years since opening. Location: 1332 2nd St, Santa Monica, CA 90401 Website: HERE

Baden Bower

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